Top 10 Stumbling Blocks that Limit Business Growth
Never in history have more entrepreneurs launched more new businesses! In America, thousands of business open their doors every single day! Unfortunately, most of them (over 90% of them) also close their doors within two years. Businesses are started with high hopes and glorious dreams. It is easy to start a business. It is much more difficult to build it, to make it succeed, to avoid the traps and pitfalls and frustrations, and enjoy the fruits of success over the years. In working with hundreds (probably two to three THOUSAND) entrepreneurs over 25 years, here are the mistakes I see most often. Avoid them!
1. Fear and Confusion. There is either a sense of being over-whelmed by the size of the tasks, or a refusal to master the work of being an entrepreneur and business owner. There are specific skills to owning and running a successful business. Learn them! You can master this! You can focus and succeed! (This is often the time to hire a coach!)
2. Lack of Capital. Capital comes in three forms: Time, money, and energy. Some people have one or two, but not all three, and they fail because they simply can not sustain the growth phase of their business. EVERY business is a commitment of everything you have. You may start "small", but that does not mean casual or part-time!
3. Lack of Courage or Commitment. Building a business is always risky. Some people perceive the risk as frightening, others see it as an exciting challenge, but there is always risk. Manage it. Limit your potential losses. Understand the risks and enjoy the process. You will make mistakes. Learn from them and go on.
4. Refusal to select and target an audience. No one can sell their services to "everyone" - a message that goes to everyone is unlikely to create a sense of urgency in anyone in particular. Attorneys focus on one type of law. Physicians specialize. So should you.
5. Choosing the wrong audience. A market that can not or will not pay or an audience that is too small or dispersed is a recipe for disaster. The "poor" desperately need medical, dental, legal and other services, but who is going to pay you? The same problem exists when trying to reach an audience that is dispersed over a large geographic area and not easily identified.
6. Fuzzy or unfocused message. What exact benefits do you provide? To whom? Under what circumstances and at what cost? How can people contact you? Be precise, be clear, be specific.
7. Lack of planning - too many random efforts. Many entrepreneurs try a little radio, a direct mailing, join a service organization, offer free samples, and then report that they have "tried everything and nothing worked". Pick one, and stay the course! You become identified with your marketing techniques. Choose a logo, a color-scheme, and a marketing technique and stay with it!
8. Too much advertising, too little relationship building. Advertising works best for tangible products because customers can see the results. Intangible services are very difficult to advertise and are almost always purchased based on the quality of the relationship. The more people know you, and the more they know about you and your caring, your professionalism and your quality, the more business you will do. Build networks of relationships!
9. Laziness and/or Greed. Your business ONLY exists to serve the customer! You must make a profit in order to continue serving the customer, but service is the key to success. Everything must be focused on that. The statement, "I want to be my own boss", or "I want a business that supports me" may be true (and be totally honest and reasonable), but they are a dangerous focus for your business. Customers first!
10. Having a product or service that fails to produce adequate benefits, or fails to serve as promised. Some professionals are incompetent. Some don't use current technology, or are sloppy in their delivery. Particularly with services, even ONE mistake will undermine client confidence, loyalty, and trust. Do your best - every time!
Thirteen journalists who were investigating damage to the environment have been killed in recent years and many more are suffering violence, harassment, intimidation and lawsuits, according to a study.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which produced the tally, is investigating a further 16 deaths over the last decade. It says the number of murders may be as high as 29, making this field of journalism one of the most dangerous after war reporting.
Eurosceptic backer warns that hardliners want frontrunner to rip up Mayâs deal
Boris Johnson has been accused of giving MPs contradictory promises on Brexit to win their votes, as one of his highly Eurosceptic backers warned that hardliners want to see him effectively tear up Theresa Mayâs deal with the EU.
The Conservative leadership frontrunner will face questions on his Brexit stance in a television grilling for the first time in the campaign on Tuesday, amid frustration among his rivals that he is getting away with pledging to be âall things to all MPsâ on issues from Brexit to HS2 in one-on-one meetings with them.
Police say two people sustained non-life-threatening injuries
Raptors became first non-US team to win NBA title last week
Police lift fans seeking safety as overcrowding becomes problem
Toronto police say two people were shot as Toronto Raptors fans packed the cityâs downtown to watch the teamâs NBA title parade. Police said two people had sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries in the incident. They added that two people had been taken into custody, and the parade was resumed after a short delay.
Iâm on the roof of city hall and something is happening. People are running including what looks to be cops and security pic.twitter.com/FEbhw88OqI
IvĂĄn Duque decries social acceptability of drug that inflicts environmental and social damage on producers
Middle-class cocaine users are inconsistent hypocrites if they fail to recognise the environmental and social damage their drug use is inflicting on producer countries, the Colombian president has said during a visit to London.
In an interview with the Guardian on Monday, IvĂĄn Duque said that cocaineâs social acceptability had to end. âThere are many people who present themselves as environmentalists, and if they want to be coherent, they must understand all the environmental damage that is caused by the production of cocaine â not just destroying tropical forests, [but] spreading chemicals in protected areas and destroying human capital,â he said.
Political row sparked after government gave US permission to use island for anti-narcotics flights
The GalĂĄpagos Islands are at the centre of political row in Ecuador after the government agreed to allow US anti-narcotics planes to use an airstrip on the archipelago which inspired Charles Darwinâs theory of evolution.
Dozens of people demonstrated outside the main government office in Quito on Monday to protest against a plan they described as a threat to the world heritage siteâs unique environment â and an attack on Ecuadorâs sovereignty.
Head of UNâs World Food Programme threatens suspension of food aid if safe delivery not assured
The head of the United Nations food agency has accused Yemenâs Houthi rebels of diverting food from the countryâs hungriest people and threatened to suspend food aid.
David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), said the agency had found âserious evidenceâ that food supplies had been diverted in the capital, Sanaâa and other Houthi-controlled areas in the country, which is in the midst of a four-year civil war. He called on the Houthis to implement agreements that would allow the UN agency to operate independently.
Victims include imprisoned followers of Falun Gong movement, China Tribunal says
An independent tribunal sitting in London has concluded that the killing of detainees in China for organ transplants is continuing, and victims include imprisoned followers of the Falun Gong movement.
The China Tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who was a prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, said in a unanimous determination at the end of its hearings it was âcertain that Falun Gong as a source - probably the principal source - of organs for forced organ harvestingâ.
From architecture to highways and the Olympic stadium, how does reality shape up against Katsuhiro Otomoâs 1988 animated dystopia?
Itâs 2019 and Tokyo is a sprawling megalopolis preparing for the 2020 Olympics. The city is crowded, fraying at the edges. The young are aimless and underemployed, obsessed with cars and clothes. Cynical new religious movements are on the rise. Motorcycle gangs race at night on the expressways. There is a worrying trend of militarism after years of peace. The government is showing signs of corruption. And everyone seems terrifyingly eager to ignore the lessons of a recent nuclear catastrophe.
The real city of Tokyo and the imagined Neo-Tokyo of the 1988 anime film Akira are nearly indistinguishable. 2019 is the âyear of Akiraâ: the date the apocalyptic science fiction film was set, a couple of decades after a mysterious nuclear-esque disaster had wiped out the original city.
The persistent practice of paying underage girls for sex-related services, known in Japan as the âJKâ business, has seen charities step in where police have come up short
On a humid Wednesday night the streets of Kabukicho, Tokyoâs most famous red light district, hum with people. Some are tourists, here to gawp and take selfies, but others are customers. Adverts for clubs flash and sing and girls dressed as maids hold signs offering deals for local bars.
In a grubby shopfront a perky cartoon featuring a cute Mr Men-style creature offers part-time work. The ad, which has an alarmingly catchy jingle, doesnât specify what the work is, but it doesnât need to: the answer is all around us on the brightly lit billboards advertising the charms of male and female bar hosts.
For hundreds of years people have come to Sanya in search of labouring jobs, shelter and a sense of belonging â but the area is changing fast, and its residents are struggling to adapt
At first sight, Sanya looks much like any other Tokyo suburb: well-appointed homes, supermarkets and fast-food restaurants. In the distance, soaring above the rooftops and mesh of overhead power lines is the unmistakable shape of the Tokyo Skytree.
But its proximity to the ultra-modern landmark is deceptive. Older men in well-worn tracksuits, baseball caps and plastic slippers clutch cans of early-afternoon chu-hi alcopops, and dozens of no-frills hostels advertise rooms with easily the lowest rates in the city â clues to Sanyaâs status as a Tokyo neighbourhood like no other, but one that is struggling to adapt to irresistible change.
âIt is terrifying,â she says, of her part in the Tony-winning musical The Light in the Piazza. âThereâs so much dialogue, which is not a skill Iâve practised much. But Iâve always had a voracious love of musical adventure.â Fortunately, her friend John Malkovich has given her some advice. âHe told me, âYou just have to put in the hours.â That made me feel better.â
The Trump administration will cut hundreds of millions in aid to to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras after President Trump blasted the three countries because their citizens had sought asylum at the US border, Reuters is reporting.
The administration reportedly told congressional aides that it would reallocate $370m in aid that Congress approved for fiscal 2018, and suspend $180m approved for fiscal 2017.
The administration said in March it would cut aid to the three countries after Trump expressed unhappiness with the their immigration policies.
No funds will be provided until the administration is satisfied the countries are reducing the number of migrants reaching the U.S. border, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters.
The @StateDept just announced they'll finalize Trump's irresponsible order to cut off a large swath of our aid to the #NorthernTriangle.
As feared, a presidential tantrum will limit our nation's ability to actually help address the challenges forcing people to flee to the U.S. https://t.co/a8Pc0xaPMj
Hey all, Vivian Ho taking over for Jessica Glenza. Letâs see where the day takes us.
Beijingâs public support for Hong Kong leader likely hides private fury, but letting her go would be another humiliation
The most obvious casualty of Hong Kongâs extraordinary uprising against chief executive, Carrie Lam, and her campaign to tie the city more closely to China, will be the bureaucrat-turned-politicianâs own career. If she stays on, it will only be as a lame duck leader.
But the cityâs turmoil is also a major challenge to her boss and patron, Chinese president, Xi Jinping.
Abandoned at sea in desperate conditions for 18 months, the MV Azraqmoiahâs crew have finally been reunited with their families
After 18 months stranded on a cargo vessel miles off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, with little food or water, no wages and little means of communication, Captain Ayyappan Swaminathanâs ordeal is finally over.
Far from wilting under the barrel of a global superpowerâs guns, Iranâs leaders have signalled an intent to defend their interests, by damaging those of their foes. Iranâs anger at the US, and its alleged role in the attacks on six tankers in Gulf waters over the past five weeks did not emerge from a vacuum. US-imposed sanctions have taken a huge toll on its economy, and diminished its ability to service long-lasting commitments across the region â in Syria and Lebanon, in particular.
Protesters dressed in black have marched through central Hong Kong demanding a full retraction of the China extradition law. The huge new rally comes after Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam, announced an indefinite halt to the proposed bill, which would allow residents and visitors to be sent for trial in Chinaâs opaque Communist-controlled court system
Led by the archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, priests and canons wearing hard hats for safety attended mass on 15 June 2019, the first since the devastating April blaze that damaged the cathedral's roof
Amanda Knox, who was twice convicted and twice acquitted of the murder of Meredith Kercher, has castigated the media for portraying her as a "dirty maneater" during the trial. In an emotional speech, she also described the impact the case continues to have on her life
Russian president helps Chinese counterpart celebrate 66th birthday in style on Sunday, giving him Russian ice cream and sharing champagne before a summit in Tajikistan. The two leaders reportedly consider each other to be close friends.
Discussion of senior leaders' private lives is extremely rare in China and their exact birth dates are considered a state secret.
Efforts to pass a controversial law in Hong Kong which would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial have been indefinitely suspended, Carrie Lam announced on Saturday. The move followed a week of mass protests and street violence over the bill
The White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, whose tenure was marked by a breakdown in regular press briefings and questions about the administration's credibility, as well as her own, will leave her post at the end of the month, Donald Trump has announced. Sanders is one of the US president's closest and most trusted White House aides and one of the few remaining staff who worked on his campaign
RELATED ARTICLESSeven Questions to Improve Your Business, Your Relationships, and Your Life
Seven Questions to Improve Your Business, Your Relationships, and Your Life
One of the most powerful tools we have as humans is our ability to ask questions. The more adept we are at asking them (and waiting for and listening to the answers), the more effective we will be.
7 Super Ways To Drum Up More Sales
1. Use subheads throughout your ad copy.
10 E-mail Organization Tips
Who doesn't have issues with organizing their inbox!? I receive close to 600 e-mail each day due to the variety of activities and contacts I have online. Some I am truly interested in their content - most I am not.
Increase Business Profits - Ten Ways
How do you increase business profits? Answer the following questions carefully, and you'll have a good start.1.
Top 7 Tips For Writing Your Marketing Plan
A lot of people are at a loss when it comes to deciding how to approach the marketing plan process and how to stay within time and budget constraints. To make for a less stressful marketing plan process, keep these 7 tips in mind:Think Strategy First
An overall marketing strategy drives many decisions.
5 Tips to Manage and Organize E-Mail
How do you focus on your urgent e-mail and organize the rest for your review? Think about how you handle your paper mail. You probably sort your paper mail quickly before you read it to figure out what to look at first, what to read later, and what to throw away.
Top Ten Tips for Improving Your Cash Flow
Cash is king-so they say. If you work for yourself or someone else, you need to be aware of ways to improve the cash flow.
Ten Tips For Starting A New Job
1. Get to know people.
7 Steps Toward a Better Website
Creating a website is one thing, making it better is another. Matt shares 7 steps to help you gain a better website.
Making Money over the Internet : 5 Cool Tips
The Internet is a fast growing medium, trancending the personal ,geographical, political and cultural barriers. Because of its popularity and diversity, for an ambitious and hard working person, it is the right medium to make unlimited wealth th the only thing is that you should know how to do it, the knack of doing it comes only with practice ,but a non-starter doesnt get any practice.
Top 10 Ways to Turn Clients Into Raving Fans
Do you find great joy in being a coach? If so, you will find that your enthusiasm is contagious and will attract clients. Be sure to develop a superb and supportive community.
Ten Tips for Cross Cultural Communication
Here are some simple tips to help you improve your cross cultural communication skills:
Even when English is the common language in a cross cultural situation, this does not mean you should speak at normal speed. Slow down, speak clearly and ensure your pronunciation is intelligible.
7 Reasons Why Training Doesn't Produce the Desired Results and What You Can Do To
Seven Reasons Why Training Doesn't Produce the Desired Results and What You Can Do To Improve Your Results
OverviewAbraham Maslow said, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." As managers, leaders and change agents, we want to improve our organizational performance.
The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make Managing Organisational Performance
mistake #1: rely just on financial statementsProfit and loss, revenue and expenses these are measures of important things to a business. But they are information that is too little and too late.
Ten Reasons to Implement Choice Theory in Your Organization
What is Choice Theory (CT)? CT is a theory of the explanation of human behavior. CT has applicability to both a person's personal and professional life.
Business Attire: 10 Tips to Perfect Your Look
Being appropriately dressed is essential in making good impressions in the business and corporate worlds. A polished image is important in business survival and can be an important factor in career advancement.
Top Ten Things to Do to Make your Signature File Sell
Always include a powerful signature on every email you send out, even to friends. It's even more important when you send out articles to opt-in ezines (no spam) and top web sites in your field--more important than your article's message.
How To Use Bartering To Gain An Advantage Over Your Competition
If you have a business on the Internet you should be bartering goods and services with other businesses. You should always try to trade for something before you buy it.
Top 10 Items to Review & Build Your Business Now!
In building and runnng an independent private practice or small business, there are many items that need to be monitored closely and should be reviewed periodically. Year-end is a traditional time do this, and this week's Letter is a "Top Ten" of items to review as the year draws to a close, or whenever you decide to pause, reflect, take stock and re-assess.
The Top 7 Marketing Tips You Dont Want To Overlook
1. Combine Emotion and LogicConsumers buy because the want to experience the benefits of the product or service you have to offer.